HES 370


Fall Semester

Course Information Overview Textbooks Bibliography
Project Dates The Project    
Practice Problems Programs    

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Course Information

Instructor: Dr Tony Marsh
Office: 313 Reynolds Gym
Phone: (336) 758-4643
Email: marshap@wfu.edu
Office hours: By appointment.

Section 1- MWF 9:00 - 9:50 am, Room 308
Section 2- MWF 10:00-10:50 am, Room 308

Lab Assistant: John King (kingjs11@wfu.edu)
Office: HES Biomechanics Laboratory, Reynolds Gymnasium


    This is an introductory course on the mechanics of human movement, particularly that pertaining to exercise, sport, and physical activity. You should gain an understanding of the mechanical and anatomical principles that govern human motion and develop the ability to link the structure of the human body with its function. At the completion of this course you should be able to:
    1) describe motion with precise, well-defined mechanical and anatomical terminology,
    2) understand and quantify linear and angular descriptors of motion,
    3) understand the relationship between angular and linear motion characteristics of a rotating body, and
    4) understand and quantify the cause and effect relationship between force and linear and angular motion.


Required text (available in the bookstore):

Hamill, J. & Knutzen, K.M. (2009). Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement, 3rd Edition, Baltimore: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Note: Additional readings may be assigned for lecture. You will be informed of the location at which the additional readings can be found at the time the readings are assigned.


Exam 1 (approximately week 6)
100 points
Exam 2 (approximately week 11)
100 points
Exam 3 (Finals week)
100 points
Quizzes (3 @ 25 pts each)
75 points
175 points
Class participation
Total Points
550 points
A >= 93.33
A- >= 90
B+ >= 86.66
B >= 83.33
B- >= 80
C+ >= 76.66
C >= 73.33
C- >= 70
D+ >= 66.66
D >= 63.33
D- >= 60
F < 60


Important Dates for the Project
Selection of group and topic End of Week 2
Filming/Digitizing workshops start Week 4
Begin Filming Week 4
Filming/Digitizing complete End of Week 7
Begin data analysis Week 7
1st draft introduction/methods complete End of Week 8
Data analysis complete End of Week 10
1st draft results/discussion complete End of Week 12
PROJECT DUE By 4pm, Tuesday before Thanksgiving Break


Biomechanics Textbooks

Adrian, M. & Cooper, J. (1989). The biomechanics of human motion. Indianapolis, IN: Benchmark Press.
Biomechanics II, III, IV, V, VI, IX, X. Proceedings of the International Society of Biomechanics.
Bloomfield, J., Ackland, T. R., & Elliott, B. C. (1994). Applied anatomy and biomechanics in sport. Melbourne, Australia: Blackwell Scientific Publications.
Gowitzke, B. A., & Milner, M. (1980). Understanding the scientific bases of human movement. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins.
Grieve, D. W., Miller, D. L., Mitchelson, D., Paul, J. P., & Smith, A. J. (1976). Techniques for the analysis of human movement. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Book Club.
Hay, J. G. (1974, 1976, 1981). Biomechanics bibliography. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa.
Hay, J. G., & Reid. J. G. (1988). Anatomy, mechanics, and human motion. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Hamill, J., & Knutzen, K. (1995). Biomechanical basis of human movement. Media, PA: Williams & Wilkins.
Kreighbaum, E. (1981). Biomechanics: A qualitative approach for studying human movement. Minneapolis, MN: Burgess Publishing Co.
Kreighbaum, E., & Barthels, K. (1996). Biomechanics: A qualitative approach for studying human movement. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon Publishing Co.
Miller, D. I., & Nelson, R. C. (1973). The biomechanics of sport: A research approach. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.
Nigg, B. M. (Ed.). (1986). Biomechanics of running shoes. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers.
Vaughan, C. L. (Ed.). (1989). Biomechanics of sport. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Winter, D. A. (1979). Biomechanics of human motion. New York: Wiley.
Winter, D. A. (1987). Biomechanics and motor control of human gait. Waterloo: University of Waterloo Press.
Winter, D. A. (1990). Biomechanics and motor control of human movement. New York: Wiley.

Journals for Biomechanics Research

Acta Physiologica Scandinavica
American Journal of Physiology
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
European Journal of Applied Physiology
Gait and Posture
Journal of Applied Biomechanics
Journal of Applied Physiology
Journal of the American Geriatric Society
Journal of Biomechanics
Journal of Biomedical Engineering
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
Journal of Gerontology
Journal of Physiology
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Physical Therapy
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport


The purpose of the project is to have you, in a group of 4 students, conduct a video assessment of performance in human movement. For example, your group might examine skilled vs. unskilled performance, normal vs. pathologic movement, or examine movement issues related to aging. Each group will be responsible for generating a single paper, presented as a web page, on their chosen topic. Your sources of information should come from published research/scientific literature that can be found on PubMed rather than the lay or popular literature. Tthe latter can also be incorporated into the paper if you feel it makes a valuable contribution. Prior to submitting the web page paper, each group is required to submit an outline as a web page, that identifies the topic you will be investigating. Guidelines for both the outline and the paper are included below.


Content: You are required to submit a web page proposal that contains: 1) -500-1000 words that identifies the topic you have chosen, and a brief synthesis of the research literature on your topic (i.e., tell me what "picture" is emerging as you read the literature on the topic), 2) 4-6 hypotheses that you plan to examine in your analysis, and 3) a list of at least 15 references that you have found to date and might use in your paper. Note that there is no specific number of references that you can include in the paper. However, if you can't find at least 15 good references related to your topic, then you probably have not done a thorough job of searching the literature and you will have a difficult time developing a thorough review. For the list of references, include full bibliographic information for each reference (i.e., authors, article title, journal or book title, year of publication, page numbers, etc.; see below for format).

Evaluation of the outline: If you fail to submit an outline by the stated due date following the guidelines outlined above, ten (10) points will be deducted from your grade (out of a possible total of 175 points). In addition, no paper will be accepted in the absence of an outline. I will provide feedback on your outline. If your outline is unacceptable you will be required to submit a revised proposal within one week of the return of the original.

All groups, regardless of the evaluation you receive, will need to meet with me to discuss your topic after the outlines have been returned.


You should model your paper off a scientific journal article. Content of the paper: The paper should contain the following: 1) a home page with the title and group member names together with a brief (250 words) Introduction to the topic (rationale for the study, aims) and 2) the body of the paper. The body of your paper should be approximately 2000 words in length. (Do not include reference list or appendix in the Word Count). Use the Word Count feature in Microsoft WORD to check this. The body of the paper will contain the following sections: 1) a review of literature that provides the rationale for your hypotheses, 2) a list of hypotheses, 3) a methods section with the videos, 4) a results section with tables and/or graphs that show the data, 5) a discussion of your results with respect to the literature, 6) the reference list in alphabetic order and 7) an appendix with the EXCEL files and any additional material that you want to include. The project should provide a thorough review of relevant literature and should be well referenced using American Psychological Association (APA) style or a similar alternative style. This means that you should have numerous research-oriented references and that you indicate the sources of your information or statements in the body of the review by citing the author(s) name(s) and year of publication (see examples of formats for citing references below). The reader should be able to trace all information to its source.

The example format for citing references in the text and listing references at the end of the paper is APA style. Examining the style of articles in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and Journal of Applied Biomechanics will be helpful since both use APA format (or close to it) as their styles. Again, the main concern is that the format is consistent. However, do not use the numbered reference style as seen in many journals. It is a difficult style to use without appropriate bibliographic software.

Evaluation of the project: All group members will receive the same grade. Your score will be based on the quality of your paper as reflected by the composition and clarity of writing, insightful interpretation of the relevant literature, thoroughness of the review, and quality of the sources of information. Attention to detail in the methods and integration of your results with the literature will be rewarded. Inconsistencies in referencing style, poor grammar, spelling errors, etc will be penalized heavily.


Note: Do not include any articles in your reference list that you do not actually cite in your text. This should not be a list of everything you read, but rather a list of articles you specifically refer to in the text.


Data-based Refereed Journals

A "refereed" journal is one that has a system of "peer review" by other scientists before something gets published (see the course outline). Most coaching and/or popular journals such as Track Technique, Swimming Technique, Golf Digest, International Gymnast, Scholastic Coach, and Runner's World are not refereed and hence you need to be more cautious about the information published in them.

Bibliographies and Indexes

Hay, J. G. A Bibliography of Biomechanics Literature., Vaughan, C.L. Biomechanics of Human Gait, An Annotated Bibliography., Index Medicus/Med-line, Physical Education Index, Physical Fitness/Sports Medicine.


Numerous other biomechanics books in the library may also be useful in identifying sources of information for your review.  Note you are strongly encouraged not to rely on books as the predominant source of information for your paper. You are expected to seek out original sources rather than summarize the contents of a book. The same goes for review articles such as those found in Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews. Always attempt to find and use the original source of the research.  Also, be more cautious about the clinical literature because case studies and opinion statements are much more prevalent in this type of literature. Your review should be based as much as possible on objective research-based information.


Projectile Motion Program #1

Projectile Motion Program #2